The exhibition A Meeting with Eldfell opens in Safnahús Vestmannaeyja on Saturday, September 9th, 2023 at 4pm. The exhibition emerged from an ongoing conversation between two artists, a curator and an anthropologist about their shared love of Eldfell, resulting in a collaborative project marking the 50th anniversary of the volcano’s birth in 1973.
Throughout its short geologic life, Eldfell and the story of its eruption has inspired people around the world. They have approached the volcano from their own perspectives, to get to know and sense this remarkable place. For this exhibition we will bring together, for the very first time, newly commissioned and existing work from over twenty Icelandic and international artists, writers and researchers exploring Eldfell; alongside significant scientific and archival material such as the first seismogram indicating the eruption, volcanic core samples and original geological field-notebooks. The exhibition will include drawings, paintings, textiles, photographs, prints, geologic sculptures, film, and text.
“This artist-led initiative has grown into a communal biography of the volcano. We hope it will help foster an ongoing archive on Eldfell, connecting those who have visited the volcano with the many people who call the island their home. As people meet Eldfell on their own terms, whether those who fled the island in the middle of the night when the eruption started or grandchildren climbing up to the crater for the first time - it is a volcanic reminder that we are part of a growing geosocial family with shared responsibility that extends across the surface of the Earth,” say the co-curators, Ilana Halperin and Vala Pálsdóttir.
The exhibition will feature works by artists, writers and researchers: Anna Líndal, Adam Putnam, Ayan Farah, Áslaug Íris Katrín Friðjónsdóttir, Dieter Roth, Emma Stibbon, Frank Siteman, Genya Turovskaya, George Carman, Gísli Pálsson, Hugh Raffles, Ilana Halperin, Jesse Bransford, John McPhee, Keith Grant, Kirsty Badenoch, Kristján Steingrímur, Ragna Róbertsdóttir and Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir with printed matter by SITE, Inc./Alison Sky and Robert Smithson
This project is led by Gísli Pálsson, Ilana Halperin, Vala Pálsdóttir and Þorgerður Ólafsdóttir in cooperation with Safnahús Vestmannaeyja. The exhibition is supported by the Municipality of Vestmannaeyjar and SASS Development Fund (South Iceland), Íslandsbanki, Creative Scotland amongst other generous contributors.